The college basketball season is just 22 days away and things are starting to pickup! In an effort to get everyone caught up on all things Rutgers Basketball from the past week or so, I’ve brought back the RAC n Roll report, after posting a few last year. The program hosted a recruit recently, made a couple new offers, CBS released some preseason rankings, SI released transfer rankings, a new layout of the practice facility was posted, there is a big event tonight and I’ve also highlighted some articles from local coverage on your favorite college hoops team. Let’s start at the baseline and start our full court run here.
6'6" Chuck Hannah'18 of @NMHbasketball visits #Rutgers on Saturday & #Yale on Friday. St.Joe's, Brown, Boston U, & Penn offers pic.twitter.com/YuZIqELyz5— Andrew Slater (@ASlater247) October 13, 2016
Hannah is a forward from Northfield Mount Hermon in Massachusetts who is ranked the 8th best player in the class of 2018 for his state and 13th in his region by the New England Recruiting Report. According to 247 Sports’ Andrew Slater in the above tweet, Hannah holds offers from Boston University, Brown, Penn and St. Joseph’s. Also according to 247 Sports, Hannah visited Yale last Friday before visiting Rutgers the following day. As of now Hannah is yet to receive a power five offer, but his recruiting profile could increase during his junior season. The Rutgers staff is certainly doing their due diligence in getting a potential riser on campus before the season starts.
Rutgers offered '18 guard Anthony Nelson, I'm told. #rhoops. CC: @Dave_White— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) October 12, 2016
Nelson is a point guard in the class of 2018 from Kentucky who plays at South Kent Prep School in Connecticut. According to Verbal Commits, the 6’4” Nelson holds offers from Manhattan, VCU, DePaul and now Rutgers. Associate head coach Karl Hobbs has a good relationship with South Kent and it’s likely they will try and get Nelson to campus during the season.
I'm Blessed And Humble To Say That I've Received My First D1 Offer From Rutgers University ! ⚫️ pic.twitter.com/F1X3IwnXlB— Bol Akot (@Bol_5) October 11, 2016
Akot is a 6’2” point guard from the class of 2020 who attends Proctor Academy in New Hampshire. If that school sounds familar, it’s because that is the same school as class of 2017 commit Geo Baker, who congratulated the young guard on twitter.
Yessss Bol s/o to my lil brother @Bol_5 only a freshman!! ⚫️ https://t.co/Ll1fVkmGrj— Geo Baker (@Geo_Baker_1) October 11, 2016
This could end up being a very savvy move if Akot continues developing the potential the staff sees in him at the moment. Being the first school to offer him, along with Baker’s ties to Akot and Rutgers, he is certainly a name to watch in the years to come on the recruiting trail.
CBS Preseason Rankings
CBS Sports released their preseason rankings that included all 351 Division I programs. They listed Rutgers at #253, right in front of Tulane and directly behind Denver. The rankings had this breaking news to say about the program:
Steve Pikiell will need time. The odds are stacked against Rutgers, but firing Eddie Jordan was the right move.
Groundbreaking analysis there folks. Not surprisingly, the Scarlet Knights were listed as the worst power five conference team in the land. After finishing last season ranked #279 in the KenPom rankings, I have to say it could have been worse. Georgia Tech and Boston College were the next power five teams to follow Rutgers, listed at #218 and #196 respectively. Minnesota was ranked as the 13th team in the Big Ten, logging in at #118. A steep climb is ahead for Rutgers, but guess what, these rankings mean bupkis and it will just mean more bulletin board material for head coach Steve Pikiell to use as motivation for this year’s team. To view the full rankings, click here.
Top 100 Transfer rank
On to better news, as Sports Illustrated released their list of the Top 100 transfers who will suit up this season and Rutgers had two players on the list! Kansas State transfer Nigel Johnson was ranked at #30. I wrote about his potential here and everyone should be excited about watching Johnson in the same backcourt with Corey Sanders. When I spoke with Sanders last week at Big Ten Media Day, he said the two have been looking forward to playing together for some time.
The other Rutgers player named to SI’s list was UNC-Wilmington graduate transfer C.J. Gettys. SI wrote that he is a “big body with a soft touch” and coach Pikiell raved about his progress last week at media day. Both Gettys and Johnson should be impact players this season.
Lost in the news about the November 1st groundbreaking announcement for the highly anticipated practice facility was the below layout that Rutgers basketball tweeted out. The rendering is the same as in the past, but the layout/floorplan shows more details than previously revealed. To the left of two courts side by side is the wrestling area and to the right is the designated area for gymnastics. All four programs will be housed in the practice facility. Full details will be released by Rutgers at the groundbreaking event.
We're not messing around. #RB1GBuild— Rutgers Basketball (@RutgersMBB) October 18, 2016
Town Hall Tonight
Rutgers athletic director Pat Hobbs and both men’s basketball coach Steve Pikiell and women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer will be partaking in another Town Hall event for students tonight. The one last spring with Hobbs and football coach Chris Ash was well received and tonight should be no different. We will have a report on the event tomorrow.
Hey @RURiotSquad & @RutgersU students‼️— Rutgers Athletics (@RUAthletics) October 19, 2016
☝️ Day until Town Hall with Pat Hobbs @CoachPikiell➕@cvivianstringer
In Case You Missed Links For Rutgers Basketball
Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press talked to coach Pikiell about the groundbreaking news here and wrote a great feature on freshman Issa Thiam here.
Keith Sargeant of NJ Advance Media highlighted Pikiell’s motivational tactics for this year’s team by presenting a powerpoint presentation on how statistically bad last season’s team was.
One thing I learned in speaking with coach Pikiell last week was that it’s obvious he is a straight shooter and isn’t going to sugar coat the challenges ahead. If you missed my interview with him at media day, catch up here. His formal press conference at media day can be seen here as well.
If you have any interest in my take on all the Big Ten coaches at media day, I wrote a breakdown on each one for our friends at BT Powerhouse here.
Aside from the recruiting updates above, if you missed the program’s recent big weekend hosting multiple top recruits on campus, click here.
22 days until Rutgers basketball tips off the 2016-2017 season at home against Division II Molloy. For a full breakdown of this season’s schedule, click here.